Buying the Right Baseball Umpire Gear

A close up of a baseball field

Umpire equipment includes any piece of protective clothing or equipment originally designed for use by umpires to determine if a baseball is foul or fair. Most commonly referred to as baseballs, these balls are inflated to the correct air pressure so that they will fly evenly and travel the distance that is intended. Additionally, umpire gear includes gloves, caps, and sunglasses. These items are generally required for all sports officiating staff members, but in some instances, specific items are needed only for umpire duties.

Chest protector

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One type of protective gear that an umpire might need for his or her job is a chest protector. Often referred to as a chest guard or a chest shield, this equipment fits over the entire torso and fits securely. Chest protectors come in several styles and are designed to meet different needs. A popular style of chest protector worn by umpires is adjustable if to fit snugly against the sternum.

The umpire chest protectors are made of soft PVC vinyl. Unlike the umpire mitt, they offer the same degree of protection. However, they do have the advantage of being able to be removed completely if the need arises. There are also several sizes available so that even the smallest of players can fit into a pair of umpire chest protectors.

Baseball umpire indicator stick

A close up of a ball

Another important piece of umpire gear that an umpire must-have is a baseball umpire indicator stick. Also known as a radar guns, these devices use electronic sensors to detect movement on the playing field. Depending on the specific device, they can either give a positive or negative reading. The advantage to using an indicator stick is that it gives the umpire instant feedback. Even when the play is still going on, the umpire can look at his or her marker and determine what is going on with the game. This helps them prevent a call-out because they will know whether to call a runner out at the bottom of the screen or if they should wait for more visual assessment to make their call.

Umpire mask

In addition to protective clothing and equipment, umpire gear also includes protective equipment such as umpire masks. While they protect the eyes, they are also designed to help keep the legs comfortable during a long, strenuous game. Leg guards are available to either wear over regular pants or jogging pants. These leg guards are made of vinyl or neoprene. They come in both standard sizes and custom sizes depending on the amount of protection needed.


The umpire’s most important equipment is the helmet, which serves two main functions. First, the helmet acts as a protective headgear to keep the player’s head from being hit hard enough to cause injury. Secondly, it also serves as an umpire mitt, which allows for the easy handling of the bat and ball. Many times during a game the umpire will need to make quick decisions about a call depending on the situation. If he or she has to remove his or her mitt to make a call, the helmet and leg guards are the best options available to help ensure the umpire is always able to do his or her job.

Polo shirt and pants

Along with the standard baseball uniform, an umpire will also wear a polo shirt. This polo shirt and pants combo comes in a wide variety of styles and colors. As he or she enters the game, an umpire will be wearing these same clothes, except of course the shirt and pants. Since there are so many options available, it is difficult to not find something that the entire crew will feel comfortable in.

While the material used to create baseball umpire gear may seem a little light and airy, the fact is that it is very durable and strong. To go along with this durable material, some manufacturers offer replacement parts if the equipment becomes defective. While the majority of umpire helmets offer a high level of protection, an extra boost can always be had by opting to wear an extra thick umpire helmet.

Umpire gear is different than what you might find at your local sporting goods store. Baseball umpires need to be prepared for the worst, so they put on a full suite of protective clothing and equipment before entering the game. These pieces are designed to help keep an umpire safe while making calls, but also look good in case of cameras come close by during playtime. The most important piece of baseball umpire gear is their helmet which serves two purposes: protection from injury as well as assistance with handling balls and bats during playtime. With all this safety equipment available, it’s no wonder that many professional sports teams prefer hiring experienced professionals over amateurs!

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